Doesn’t it seem like everyone’s busier than ever? Or maybe it’s just that people have always been busy.

Jen Trumpy, vice president of operations and compliance for Cleveland-based multifamily developer The NRP Group, which manages more than 22,000 units nationwide, certainly appreciates the often-hectic lives her company’s residents lead. “They’re trying to get their kids to school, get to work, get the kids to sports, whatever,” Trumpy says. All that can make it impossible to drop off the monthly rent payment before the site office closes.

That’s why multifamily management firms such as NRP are shifting to online payment processing. The numerous digital products available can provide innovative ways to make residents’ lives easier while also boosting a management company’s efficiency.

NRP uses a proptech platform whose capabilities allow residents to “set up automatic payments or log in and make a one-time payment each month,” Trumpy notes.

It’s an approach that “frees up time for the site team to focus on our tenants,” adds Scott Haffner, The NRP Group’s vice president of IT business solutions. He adds that team members are freed from entering payment information manually, a labor-intensive process that can result in costly human errors.

While The NRP Group has centralized its payment processes, other management firms are trying additional digital options to make residents’ lives easier—while making sure the rent gets paid.

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based Morgan Properties, which owns and manages more than 95,000 apartments across 345-plus properties in 19 states, uses the same proptech platform as The NRP Group. The platform’s rent payment capability “has made things a lot more efficient,” notes Amy Weissberger. senior vice president of corporate strategy and innovation team lead at Morgan Properties.

Her company also has introduced other technologies that have come onto the market in the last few years. In early 2022, Morgan Properties began piloting software that gives residents who qualify flexible rental payment options. This solution covers a resident's rent on the first of the month; the resident “then has the ability to make payments back to the software company throughout the month,” Weissberger says.

Morgan Properties has steadily been expanding access to this software throughout its properties. “It makes things easier for our residents while ensuring that we’re still receiving our payments in a timely fashion,” Weissberger says. The payments come directly to Morgan Properties’ accounting software. She doesn’t believe most Morgan Properties residents will choose to use the platform, since it comes with usage fees. Still, “it’s an option for someone who needs it,” she adds.

Another proptech payment product that the company has added to complement its online payment options provides optional positive financial reporting for residents who pay their rent on time. “That helps them build credit,” Weissberger says. This solution also offers no-interest microloans for residents who need a little short-term financial assistance and gives those residents 12 months to pay the loan back.

In addition, Morgan Properties is piloting a loyalty and credit card program that encourages on-time rental payments. It also has introduced a debit card program that includes a “rewards marketplace,” which lets residents spend earned rewards on gift cards and other items. Both of these programs offer residents opportunities to earn and accumulate reward points that they can use toward future rent.

Yet another program that Morgan Properties offers “allows residents to have security deposit coverage without having to pay all of the upfront costs of a cash security deposit,” Weissberger says. This digital solution replaces cash deposits with surety bonds, which can be used to cover property managers for lost rent and unit damage.

Weissberger believes that the payment processing platforms have helped Morgan Properties attract and retain residents. “We’re trying to make it as easy as we can and give our residents as many options as possible to choose from—whichever they find the most beneficial,” she adds.

As The NRP Group’s Trumpy notes, online proptech-based payment processing products may not be the biggest attraction to a management company’s properties. However, they can make residents feel more at home, and they reassure both parties that the rent will be paid—no matter how busy everyone is.